In 1935, a few ex servicemen got together and inaugurated a branch of the Royal British Legion in West Bridgford. In the early days, meetings were held in the Manor club on Albert Road (which closed a few years ago).
From these early stages, the Branch progressed rapidly and moved into a new headquarters in Queen’s Buildings, Edward Road. They stayed at that site until 1946 when they moved to premises in-between Pierrepont Road and Gertrude Road, Lady Bay.
With the generous help of a Mr Edward Somerfield, the Legion merged with the Lady Bay Social Club. Bowls and the Pierrepont Tennis Club (who were already on the premises) and set about making vast alterations. The work was performed by members who had to combat a post war scarcity of material. Even so,work was completed in record time. The official opening of the premises was conducted by Mr H Betts, Chairman of West Bridgford Council, on May 11th 1946.
The year was remembered in another not so pleasant way with a shortage of beers, wines and spirits. Faced with the prospect of a dry season, everyone rallied round and the position was saved. Supplies were still short at this time after the war but the club prides itself on the fact that no members went without.
Membership grew, the war swelling the number of ex servicemen who wanted to continue the comradeship found in the forces. There was also much work to be done helping war widows, orphans and other needy cases.
In 1947 floods hit West Bridgford and the club was under 4ft 6in of water. Once again members rallied round and repaired the damage themselves.
Membership reached record figures of over 1000. It was decided that an ambition nurtured by many of the older members should be fulfilled and so plans were made to turn the club into what members subsequently referred to as ‘the best British Legion in the country’. The club had over many years extended and adapted its facilities to accommodate the diverse needs of members.
Sadly, from the 1990’s onwards, membership numbers declined and this, along with increasing financial pressures caused the club to close.
However, this was a ‘blessing in disguise’ for members and the local community because a local award winning brewery – Castle Rock – decided to open a new pub on the site.
Shortly after the social club closed in May 2010, work began on the new Castle Rock pub / restaurant . The Poppy and Pint opened its doors to the public at 3.00pm on Sunday 15 May 2011.
The RSSC Board are now ‘landlords’ for the area (occupied by the pub), the car park and the grassed area to the rear of the pub (formerly used as a bowling green).